Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia firefighters head west to battle Alberta wildfires

Nova Scotia is sending about 20 specially trained firefighters to Alberta to help fight wildfires that have once again sprung up this spring.

About 20 firefighters expect to work exhausting 12-hour shifts for 14 days straight

About 20 specially trained Nova Scotia firefighters left the province Thursday morning to help fight wildfires in Alberta. (Brett Ruskin/CBC)

With two weeks' worth of gear stuffed into heavy yellow duffel bags, about 20 specially trained Nova Scotia firefighters left the province Thursday morning to help fight wildfires that have once again sprung up this spring in Alberta.

On Monday, the fire was reported to have covered 92,000 hectares in the northern part of the province.

Dave Rockwood, a forest resource technician, is one of the Nova Scotians who boarded a plane to Alberta Thursday morning.

Dave Rockwood is a Nova Scotia forest resource technician. (Brett Ruskin/CBC)

He said planning begins early to help other provinces with potential wildfires.

"As soon as the snow starts melting, you're starting to think about wildfires. This time of the year is very dry," he said.

"You're always monitoring the situation out west and in your local area and you always have your bag ready to go because it can be 24-hours' notice and you're on the plane."

This is not the first time Nova Scotia has sent fire crews to help out. In previous years the province has sent crews to battle blazes in Fort McMurray, Alta., and Slave Lake, Alta.

The 20 or so firefighters expect to work exhausting 12-hour shifts for 14 days straight before returning home.

If more help is needed another Nova Scotia crew will head out to replace them.

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